PELL CITY -- A Mississippi company was the low bidder for the demolition of the former St. Clair County Hospital on Dr. John Haynes Drive.

“It was a good bid process,” said City Manager Brian Muenger.

He said 15 companies requested the 150-page bid package, and 30 people participated in the mandatory walk-thru of the facility.

In all, Muenger said, the city received seven bids, with Southern Recycling and Demolition Inc. of D’Iberville, Mississippi, submitting the apparent low bid in the amount of $385,000.

“We are very happy to see what came in,” he said.

All bids were under the estimated cost the city had anticipated, ranging from $735,000 and down.

“We have a lot of work to do in verifying that all the items that we requested are in the big package,” Muenger said.

Southern Recycling and Demolition’s bid was well below other bidders. The second lowest bidder was Virginia Wrecking of Daphne, with a bid of $574,143, followed by Ingle Demolition and Salvage of Adamsville, with a bid of $599,000.

The highest bid submitted was from Britt Demolition & Recycling of Hanceville at $735,000.

Muenger said there were some recyclable materials in the 40-plus-year-old hospital, mostly metal.

Muenger said he hopes the council will approve the low bid Monday night, so the St. Clair County Commission can do the same at its Tuesday morning meeting.

The city and county jointly own the 19 acres of land the hospital sits on.

Officials said the acreage is prime commercial property.

The property is visible from Interstate 20 and adjacent to the new McSweeney Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram automobile dealership.

Last year, the City Council and the County Commission approved an option agreement with Bill Ellison, Southside Land Venture LLC, who has another two years to purchase the former county hospital property outright for a commercial retail development.

Ellison has brought major retailers to Pell City in the past, including Walmart, The Home Depot, Walgreens and Publix.

In accordance with the agreement, Ellison will market the former hospital property for commercial development, with the option to buy the property at a cost of $4 million.

The city and county agreed to move forward with the demolition and removal of the former hospital. Officials say once the demolition work begins, it will take about four months to completely remove the structure.